Gulf Coast Chapter Events


Gulf Coast Chapter: USNC for UN Women Co-sponsors Panel

"Gender Rights as Human Rights: Where are We in 2016?"

Gender Rights as Human Rights - both locally and globally - was the topic of a panel discussion October 26 at the University of South Florida Sarasota- Manatee. Five panelists shared their experiences and expertise regarding women’s issues in our own local communities and in villages as far away as India and Africa. The Gulf Coast Chapter co-sponsored this event.

Photo Below: E. Scott Osborne, Esq., Advocacy Director for UN Women/USNC, Gulf Coast Chapter, discussed women in India and how cultural influences can be at odds with the country’s democratic governmental and legal structure.

Photo below: Osborne joined panel members (from right), Jody L. McBrien, Associate Professor at USFSM; Leen al-Fatafta, a student at New College; Phillip Wagner, Professor USFSM; and Noelle Polk Clark, Advocacy Director, UN Association, Tampa Bay Chapter.

Prof. McBrien told stories of how women with whom she works in rural Africa are making real gains by focusing on health, education and economic opportunities in their communities.

Leen al-Fatafta shared her story of being an Arab Feminist, an internal compass she was raised with and has carried with her in her travels and studies. She talked about the place of feminism throughout the history of Islam.

Prof. Wagner said the current political climate opens the door to discussion and awareness about gender equity issues. Even though many men may not be complicit in gender discrimination, he invited them to move beyond awareness and become active in being part of the solutions.

Noelle Polk Clark shared local statistics about discrimination and violence against women. She also shared how CEDAW could be an integral piece in the move toward gender equity. She encouraged attendees to press their local representatives to adopt local CEDAW ordinances. (CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women)






The Fall Breakfast was a huge success.  If you missed it, you can watch the entire presentation by clicking the you tube link below the picture.


Carol Poteat-Buchanan, Derek Thompson (MoreTooLife), Sharon Burde





In 2014, the Gulf Coast Chapter hosted the USNC-UN Women's National Conference


At any given moment, there are hundreds of projects that receive support from UN Women. With the generous support of governments, foundations, corporations, organizations and individuals, historic victories for women's empowerment and gender equity have been - and continue to be - achieved.


               2015-2016 Gulf Coast Chapter Learners to Leaders


International Women's Day


Saturday, March 12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Polo Grill, Fete Ballroom, Lakewood Ranch 



The acclaimed play SEVEN takes the stage in honor of International Women’s Day 2016



The Gulf Coast Chapter (GCC), USNC-UN Women, invites you to avoid the complacency that comes with comfort and step into the movement that is the documentary play SEVEN.


GCC is hosting the Vital Voices play and a luncheon in celebration of International Women's Day. Locally, the play will be produced under the direction of Ria Cooper of the Asolo Theater, and read by seven of our community advocates for change. The texts are a joint effort of award-winning playwrights Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith and Susan Yankowitz. 


The script reveals the riveting stories of seven brave and resilient women who have overcome violence and cultural pressure to become catalysts for change. These women found the courage and the voice to establish real and concrete human-rights programs in their countries. 


Gulf Coast Chapter, USNC-UN Women  “will play a significant role in the remarkable journey of the play SEVEN as it travels to more than 30 countries and across the U.S., motivating audiences to take action through its gripping stories of real women,” comments Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, a producer working to bring the story of SEVEN to the big screen. She hopes Sarasota will be informed and inspired by the play. 


Ms. Nelson Schwartz adds that by “recognizing that the abuses and disempowerment of women…exist not only throughout the world but in our own backyard,” she hopes SEVEN will encourage audiences to “think global, but act local.”


Gulf Coast Chapter, USNC-UN Women is dedicated to raising community awareness of the status of women and girls here and abroad. Come join us and network with others forwarding gender equality and women’s rights. 


Tickets to the lunch and play are $45 for GCC members, $50 for guests and $20 for students.. Advance ticket purchases may be made by clicking the button below.


Proceeds benefit the advocacy of the US National Committee and the work of UN Women. 


For more information about the story of SEVEN and the profound dialogue the play has ignited around the world, visit




Click on the tickets above to pay online now or send a check payable to

GCC/USNC-UN Women to c/o Elaine Foster, 5156 Magnolia Pond Dr., Sarasota, FL 34233

For more information, contact

Please note -- space is limited and you will not want to miss this interesting and informative event.






Cities for CEDAW in Sarasota -- Join our coalition and help make Sarasota a CEDAW* city.

New endorsements added October 16, 2015 - add your voice now.

See the link CEDAW!

For further information, contact
*Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women





You may pay on line by clicking the above button, you may send a check payable to

GCC/USNC-UN Women to c/o Elaine Foster, 5156 Magnolia Pond Dr., Sarasota, FL 34233

For more information, contact

Please note -- space is limited and reservations are coming in at an extraordinarily fast pace.  Don't delay or you will miss this interesting and informative event.




Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival -- Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3, 2016, at Hollywood 20. For more information, call

Book Club -- 2nd Monday of the Month, 2:30 p.m. at North County Library. For further information, contact Leita Kaldi at or 941-753-0037.

Board Meetings -- the first Monday of the Month at the Women's Resource Center on Tuttle. Contact Sharon Burde for more information at or 941-383-1363.